In a game featuring eleven ties and eight lead changes, all in the first half, the visiting Limestone College Saints managed to squeeze out a ten point victory, 81-71, over Lees-McRae College Monday night in Carolinas Virginia Athletic Conference action. The Saints improve to 18-7, (13-5 CVAC) while the Bobcats drop to 5-20, (4-14 CVAC).
From the opening tip off the teams traded baskets with neither being able to pull away. Limestone established the largest lead of four points, 15-11, with 13:16 remaining. The Bobcats would take the lead just under a minute and a half later with a Henry Williams field goal. The teams would trade the lead on their next possessions, Lees-McRae's off of a Blake Carr three pointer to make the score 19-17. Shaun Poppie would answer back with one of his own from behind arc for the seventh lead change of the half and 8:41 still to play. A continual game of cat and mouse would ensue over the next eight minutes, until Shaun Poppie would give the Saints a three point lead, 35-32, with 0:45 to play. Aaron Dugger's attempt to tie with four seconds to play rattled the rim and found the hands of Poppie, who almost made back to back threes as time expired with his Hail Mary attempt from behind center.
The Saints increased their lead to six with Terrell Smith making a three point after drawing a foul on the first possession of the second half. The Bobcats would cut their deficit to one on three occasions, but the Saints maintained the lead throughout. Down eight 57-49 with 11:42 to play, the Bobcats continued to claw back, drawing to within two, 60-58, with 8:34 to play. The Bobcats sent the Saints to the charity stripe on their next four possessions, allowing the Saints to increase a two point lead into an eight point lead going 6 for 8 from the line. The Saints would build off of the Bobcats mistakes to lead by no less than five for the rest of the way.
Smith scored a game high 21 points for the Saints while Poppie was good for 19 and a game high 4 assists. John Prioleau and Andre Coleman contributed 15 and 13 points respectively. Smith and Poppie also pulled down a game high seven boards each.
Williams, (pictured top left), led the Bobcats with 17 points, a team high six rebounds, and shared the game high in assists with Poppie, picking up four. Dugger added 12 points and five boards while Pete Dunbar and Stephen Haymer each drained ten points.
The Bobcats will head to Erskine Thursday evening before returning to Williams Gymnasium Saturday to host Coker College on Senior Day, wrapping up their regular season.